Like many professionals, who knew about their ADHD late in their life, I also found that I have been adapting to my ADHD without knowing I had it. I think I was lucky to be nurtured in a home that encouraged me to develop my strengths and helped me through my weaknesses. So I returned home after my recent epiphany…

“Mom, I have ADHD”
“No, you’re too bright to have ADHD”
“You don’t understand, mom.”
“Yes, I don’t understand. All I know is that the more you think about it, the more you are led to believe you have it. So don’t think about it.”

Mom has always been full of wisdom. This time I know she is just refusing the labels and the stigma that comes with it. ADHD–the acronym, the messing up of the brain concept, the thought of a deficit–sounded odd for this old school society I live in. She always taught us to improve ourselves and I am guessing the labels seem to be constricting and a flag to stop progress.

I wish I could explain to her beyond the labels. It was magical how I found a community in the people with ADHD with my readings of magazines, books, blogs and online forums. It was therapeutic in itself to find labels and scientific explanations for it. I am a woman of science and some bit of rationale in my experience gave me peace. I was sick and tired of living in the fog. I wanted to play with the fog and win over it. It is in knowing that I leverage to improve.

If only mom would believe when I tell her: Don’t worry about the label… Without it, I wouldn’t have found the community where I belong and they wouldn’t have found people who made me realize how this kind of different, is fun different.

Some day, maybe.